Father of Science: Galileo Galilei

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 1, 2022, 10:04

Galileo is popularly known as the father of science. He was a teacher, philosopher, astronomer, and physicist known to be an important part of the scientific revolution. Because of his experimental scientific methodologies, he is called the Father of Modern Astronomy, the Father of Modern Physics, and the Father of Science.

Galileo's scientific experiments were an active process involving the study of causal relationships between various scientific possibilities and experiments. His research in scientific experiments has become the cornerstone for unravelling the mysteries of nature and the universe.

Galileo Galilei - Overview

Galileo was born on 15th February 1564 in Pisa, Italy. He studied at the University of Pisa, where he studied to become a doctor after getting a medical degree, but he never finished his education. He dropped out in 1589 but taught math at the same university on account of being enamoured with the subject. During this period, he began studying physical phenomena such as motion and gravity and also worked on several manuscripts, lectures, and treatises.

After his college teaching profession, he was endowed with another prominent position, despite his criticism of Aristotle. During this time in which he was sentenced to house arrest by the Church inquisition for supporting the Copernican heliocentric theory, he returned to his work in the fields of applied physics, kinematics (or mechanical engineering), and materials engineering. He died while under house arrest on 8th January 1642.

Father of Science - His Contributions

Galileo's scientific research was not limited to any particular field. He was well versed in the characteristics of the moon, the phases of Venus, the four moons and sunspots of Jupiter, and the astronomical observations of the time.

He was also an enthusiastic thinker, optimizing the telescope for military and scientific use and geometric calculations. It was then used to improve the accuracy of the ballistic and military compass at the time.

He also published seminal works such as Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems in 1632. It consists of a discussion based on the scientific Enlightenment, Galileo's astronomical observations and theories, and Aristotle's view of the universe in the Ptolemaic theory.

Father of Science - Criticism

Galileo's contemporaries recognized the danger of conflicting with the teachings of the Church. But by the early 17th century, the Church's message on scientific research was mixed. The Church took decisive action against Galileo five years after the publication of his treatise, Sidereus Nuncius (Starry Messenger). He was summoned before the 1615 Roman Inquisition and warned against prosecuting anything related to the heliocentric theory. Later, in 1633, he was found guilty of propagating Copernicus' theory and was sentenced to life.

Father of Science - His Impact

In October 1989, NASA launched Galileo, the first unmanned research spacecraft to orbit Jupiter, sending probes into the planet's atmosphere and completing an asteroid fly-by.

The European Union and the European Space Agency built a 30-satellite GPS called the Galileo Positioning System, which began operations in 2016.

Galileo was called the Father of Science because of his compelling and clear observations in the field. He pioneered the experimental scientific method and introduced the utility of the refracting telescope in making substantial astronomical discoveries. He is thus also often referred to as the "father of modern astronomy" and the "father of modern physics."

Galileo's comprehensive contribution to modern science led to the systematic implementation, development, and explanation of scientific methods.

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FAQs on Father of Science

Q.1. Which celestial moons are known as Galileo's satellites?

The four moons of Jupiter (Callisto, Europa, Ganymede, and Io) discovered by Galileo are known as Galileo satellites.

Q.2. Who is the father of science?

Galileo is known as the father of science.

Q.3. What was the remarkable discovery that led to Galileo's fame in 1610?

Galileo discovered 4 moons on Jupiter by using a refracting telescope on 7th January 1610 - a discovery that led to his fame.